Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bacon Coleslaw

(c) Home on the Range

Here is the post with better photos and a close up.

Start with the dressing. You will use 3/4 cup of the following:

Home made ranch dressing. (If you want to make it extra simple, use pre made ranch, but I'd recommend a refrigerated brand such as one I like, Marzetti's.). Make it ahead and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to mix up the veggies and fry the burgers.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • drop or two of Scoville Brothers Heavy Metal Heat hot sauce

    In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. To make coleslaw dressing. Use 3/4 cup of the ranch. Add two tablespoons red wine vinegar, one tablespoon of honey, and a dash of pepper (with the bacon it really doesn't need any salt).

    Coleslaw Mix -

    3/4 of a head of small cabbage (save rest for something else). I chopped fairly thick so it wasn't overpowered by the blue cheese bits.
    1/2 to 3/4 of a yellow pepper
    8-10 pieces of bacon fried, drained and broken up.
    1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

    Add the dressing to the salad not more than a half hour before serving, so it stays crunchy. If you're not going to serve it all at once. Mix up half of the cabbage and dressing, and save the remainder for lunch with something the next day, mixing just before serving.  I like it as a topping to a hamburger, but it makes a great side dish for about any grilled meat.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Brownies a'la Brigid

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not overbake! These will look somewhat "not done" when they are done. Trust me. Cool in pan and cut into squares.



Makes: 20 croissants

For the "sponge" (yeast starter):

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups (9 ounces by weight) all-purpose flour

For the croissant dough:
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons sugar
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces by weight) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 ounces unsalted soft butter
10 ounces unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg for egg wash

For the sponge:
In an electric mixing bowl, stir the warm water and yeast together. Allow to foam for 5 minutes.

Mix in the flour at low speed. The dough will be sticky. Cover and let rest for 12 hours at room temperature.

For the croissant dough: In a mixing bowl, combine water, milk, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Stir in the yeast to dissolve and allow to foam for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, flour, salt, soft butter and the sponge. Knead with the dough hook for about 10 to 12 minutes. (If working by hand as I do, knead for 15 minutes.)

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in bulk in a draft-free area at room temperature, about 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 12 by 14- inches. Place the dough rectangle on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic and freeze for about 30 minutes to get the consistency of chilled butter. Roll the 10 ounces of chilled butter between plastic sheet to form a rectangle 12 by 7 inches. ( I have used shaved butter in place of rolling it before though rolling is the preferred method).

Square up rectangle with a spatula or dough scraper. Position the butter rectangle on one side of the dough. Fold the rest of dough over butter and seal edges to seal in butter. Roll out the dough into a 10 by 20-inch rectangle. Fold one-third of the dough towards the center. Fold the other third over the two layers. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Repeat the rolling and folding process twice more and chill. Finally, on a floured surface, roll the dough into a 19 by 25-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 20 even triangles.

Use a template for accurate measurements. To roll the crescents, start at the base and roll towards the tip. Finish the roll so that the tip is underneath the croissant.
Curve the end of each croissant and brush with egg wash. (May be frozen at this time). Arrange croissant on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Let them rise uncovered at room temperature or until doubled in bulk. Bake the croissants at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. (check oven carefully, mine takes less time, a done crossant will be a golden brown color, not TOO light).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chocolate Soufflles

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
  • 5 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped finely
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar or cocoa powder for dusting (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 6 individual soufflé ramekins and sprinkle with sugar; set aside.

Melt chocolate pieces in a metal bowl over barely simmering water, constantly stirring. (do NOT overheat, even a tiny bit of overcooked chocolate can ruin it.) Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from heat and stir in the egg yolks. (I drizzle the chocolate into the eggs slowly, stirring well so the egg doesn't cook).

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt on medium high speed until the peaks are soft and glossy looking. Continue beating egg whites on high speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, until the egg whites hold stiff glossy peaks.

Gently stir 1/3 of the eggs whites into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites. The chocolate mixture should be light and bubbly, and even colored, without egg white streaks.

Spoon your soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes or bake right away for 12 – 15 minutes (a few minutes longer at higher altitude) until risen with a crusty exterior. Serve with a dusting of cocoa or powdered sugar if desired. (like mine lasted that long).

Enchiladas Range Style

3 tablespoons's and 1 teaspooon Penzey's 9000 chili powder
1 teaspoon Penzey's Ancho Chili Powder (if you don't have, use 4 T of chili powder)
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 heaping tsp.Penzey's Italian seasoning (any type, or use oregano or oregano, thyme, basil mix)
1 teaspoon wild honey
2 cups chicken or turkey stock (broth)
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil divided

1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 and 1/2 cups chopped chicken
1 cup onion, diced
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles
2 and 1/2 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
8-10 flour tortillas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray.

Heat 2 T oil in saucepan over low for 5 minutes. Add in Seasonings and stir. Add in flour and honey and stir to make a paste. Add in chicken broth, whisking constantly, raising heat to medium. Bring to a boil, whisking, then simmer on low for 10-15 minutes to thicken, whisking occassionaly.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until caramalized, adding in drained chilis as it starts to soften and cook down. Stir in cooked diced chicken and turn off heat.

To assemble. Get 8-10 tortillas (not the huge burrito sized). Drizzle a tablespoon or so of the sauce down the center of the tortilla. Top with beans, chicken/chili mixture and a some cheese (the amount you can grab with the end of your fingers). Roll up and place seam side down in the pan. Top with remaining sauce. Bake 20 minutes, cover with remaining cheese and bake another 5-8 minutes, until melted. Serve with sour cream, a salad and a nice beer.

To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, sauce, beans, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread a spoonful of sauce in a line down the center. Then add beans on top of the sauce, then some chicken mixture, and cheese. Roll up tortilla and place seam-side down in baking dish. Once all enchiladas are made, pour extra sauce over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then remove dish and sprinkle extra cheese on top, and bake for 5-10 minutes more until tortillas begin to brown slightly around the edges. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pizza Stone Pizza with Prosciutto and Buffalo Mozzarella.

How can you have great pizzaria oven or wood fired pizza taste at home without spending hundreds of dollars on the oven set up? Easy. A $20 pizza stone. The key is to put the stone in a cold oven and crank up the heat in your oven to heat the pizza stone for 30-45 minutes at a high temperature.
The pizza stone is a thermal mass that absorbs the oven heat, acting much like the brick-lined ovens used in pizzerias. Those ovens can reach temperatures of 600 to 1,000 degrees, but like anything folks, we have to work with what we have. You will need to figure out on which shelf to place the stone in your oven to turn out the best pizza. The middle shelf worked best for me. Want to save even more money? You can use terra cotta tiles from the home supply store in place of a pizza stone. Just remember, the stone is like a sponge. Don't wash it with soap as it absorbs it. Scrape it clean, wash with warm water and reseason with olive oil and store in your oven.
Stoned Pizza with Prosciotto, Buffalo Mozzerella and Herbs
Pizza Dough: Makes enough dough for two 10-12 inch pizzas
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour ( bread flour will give you a crisper crust, but you can use regular)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Pizza Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • Sauce
  • Toppings (see below for suggestions and amounts)

Making the Pizza Dough

1 In the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.
2 Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with a dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don't have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand, I did.
3 Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so it is evenly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have a warm spot in the house you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then turn off the oven. Place the bowl of dough in this warmed oven to rise.
You can freeze half the dough in an airtight container at this point for up to two weeks if you are making just one pizza. It makes good calzones or other dishes after thawing and rising again (it will take longer to rise after it's been frozen once).

Preparing the Pizza

1 Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
2 Remove the plastic cover from the dough and punch the dough down. Divide the dough in half if you are making the full recipe (two pizzas). Place the dough in one bowl per pizza, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
3 Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter - 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker. You can pinch the very edges if you want to form a lip.
4 Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings). Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
Repeat with the second ball of dough if you're making two pizzas.
5. Prepare your toppings. You don't need much. Too much will give you a soggy pizza. Per pizza: About a soup ladle full of tomato sauce (see sidebar for some pizza sauce recipes), 3 ounces of sliced prosciotto, 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) of sliced buffalo mozzarella, and a sprinkle of basil and or oregano, throw on some thinly sliced onion if you like. Toppings should be thin.
6 Lightly sprinkle a flat baking sheet with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the sheet. If the dough has lost its shape in the transfer, lightly shape it to the desired dimensions.
7 Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.
8 Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven (careful - the oven is hot!). Gently shake the baking sheet to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal. Slide the pizza off of the sheet and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.
9. Tell your $7 tiny little Wolfgang Puck pizza to take a hike.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Bananas and Cream Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze.  From -

Taste Of Home


1/3 cup shortening
1-1/4 cups Pure Cane Sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions: In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add bananas and mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, stirring just until combined. Stir in walnuts. (I left them out) Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar or glaze. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Brown Butter Glaze

For Glaze
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons milk

For glaze:
In a medium bowl, add powdered sugar.
Place butter in a small saucepan. Melt butter over medium heat until bubbly. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown.
Remove from heat and pour butter into the bowl of powdered sugar. Add milk and vanilla, stir until smooth.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Mock Sourdough Pancakes

Mock Sourdough Pancakes

 Sourdough taste without the sourdough starter (serves 2-3 as main course). They're tall and light as a feather.

Mix well in a medium bowl:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tablespoons plus a pinch granulated sugar.
make a "well" in the center of the dry ingredients.

In a small  bowl thoroughly whisk
3/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon plain kefir (fermented milk found in the yogurt section)
1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry all at once, stirring JUST til  flour is combined (batter will be thick with lumps and bumps). Let sit while you heat up the pan. Fill a 1/4 cup measure up a bit more than half full with batter and drop to cook on slightly oiled cast iron griddle (batter will be quite thick but will thin out some as it cooks).